Green Lantern: First Flight
Article originally written for Static Multimedia
When I look back through my comic book collection, which has been steadily growing ever since I was a young lad, I see a multitude of superheroes that I have enjoyed reading over the years. Batman, naturally, makes up the majority of the collection with plenty of Superman, X-Men and a whole list of others to go along with it. But for some reason, aside from a few Justice League issues, my collection is completely vacant of the Green Lantern. I never had anything against the Green Lantern, I just never found myself yearning to read about the superhero or his intergalactic adventures. However, that is slowly beginning to change.
With the recent Hollywood news of Mr. Van Wilder himself, Ryan Reynolds, being cast to play the Green Lantern in Warner Brothers’ forthcoming film coinciding with DC Universe’s release of the animated original movie Green Lantern: First Flight, my interest in the power ring-wielding superhero is at an all-time high. And for not knowing much about this franchise to begin with, after watching First Flight, my interest in the Green Lantern has more then multiplied due to the film’s enjoyable characters and it’s engaging storyline.
With a running time of only 77 minutes, Green Lantern: First Flight wastes no time in getting to the point. Within the first three minutes of the film, Hal Jordan has already been chosen to become the first human member of the Green Lantern Corps after his predecessor, Abin Sur, crashes his ship to earth and tragically dies. Soon after being chosen, Hal is introduced to a strange new world lying just outside the stars where an elite group of individuals from many different alien races act as the entire universe’s police force against evil and corruption.
Despite the Guardians of the Universe (the immortal leaders of the Green Lantern Corps) having a strong dislike for human beings and their selfish ways, Hal is allowed to remain a Green Lantern under the guidance of Sinestro, the most distinguished Green Lantern of the bunch. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for Hal to realize that Sinestro has become a little corrupt and evil himself, which makes for a very exhausting first mission on Hal’s part.
Because of First Flight’s quick start, it’s hard not to be sucked into the movie’s plot, which is incredibly complex but delivered to the viewer in a very simple manner and offers a perfect blend of humor and action to keep you interested. The animation is nothing special but also could have been a lot worse as it offers plenty of visually appealing scenery and characters.
My one and only criticism pertains to that quick start the film has. Because we are thrown into the action so quickly, you get little to no back-story on the movie’s central character, Hal Jordan. All I got was that he’s employed as a test pilot and that he has a sense of humor. And to truly fall in love with a superhero and what he stands for, you have to fall in love with his everyday persona, like that of Bruce Wayne’s or Peter Parker’s. In First Flight, we learn more about the inner workings of Sinestro then we do of Hal Jordan, and Sinestro is ultimately the villain.
The DVD’s special features treat us to some sneak peeks of DC Universe’s most anticipated upcoming releases. Unfortunately, most of them have already been released like the animated original films Batman: Gotham Knight and Wonder Woman, which proves the “sneak peek” kind of pointless. However, the disc’s one superb special feature is an exclusive look at Blackest Night, DC’s big comic book event of the summer. Trust me, if you’re a comic book fan and you haven’t heard of Blackest Night, you need to get online and look it up fast because it is going to be pretty damn cool.
Even though audiences will have to wait a couple of years to see how the big Hollywood movie fares, Green Lantern: First Flight will be available to them in both DVD and Blu-Ray formats on July 28. Long-time fans will enjoy it for it’s fun action sequences and stellar narrative. And if you are like me and deprived yourself of the Green Lantern your whole life, it makes for an excellent introduction to the superhero and his universe.
Review: 3 out of 4 Stars